Who am I?

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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Saturday, 6 May 2017

More carping on

This recent run of N/E winds and low temperatures has done nothing to assist my cause. Benno, Luke and I blanked on Thursday evening, none of us had a touch, and these conditions look set to continue well into next week. I've made comment, previously, about the importance I place on my own confidence when setting off after my target species. As such, the carp fishing is on hold until there is a significant change in the weather. This doesn't mean that I stop thinking about them and the problems which I require to solve in order to achieve my goal. I have my rig testing tank to assist my efforts as I explore new (to me) avenues of bait presentation.

Any fish feeding over this "munga" will develop no preferences as to the size of the food item they are eating.
I believe their confidence increases the longer they stay on the bait, therefore pre-baiting is a valuable
tactic when conditions are right.  It certainly paid dividends during my time out on the marshland drains.
I have always enjoyed fishing over a bed of mixed particles be that for carp or barbel. In my opinion the fish can become so preoccupied with feeding that the choice of hook bait is of very secondary importance. They are picking up seeds of various sizes and can't possibly associate one item with danger when in such a situation? Well that's how I used to think until watching some underwater footage of carp bolting away from "fluro" pop-ups in these very circumstances. Two things to think about here. Firstly; these particular carp inhabited a heavily pressured venue and probably knew every trick in the book! The second point, that I picked up on, is why would you fish a "fluro" pop-up over mixed particles in the first place? No, don't worry - I'm not that thick, fully aware of the pulling power of a high-viz, high attract offering over a bed of freebies. However, I have absolutely no doubt that these type of offerings are very quick to blow, such is the ability of carp to suss these things. So there might be a time and place in my current situation where doing just that could provide the chance of a bite because I'm fishing for very naive fish by comparison. I am not yet using particles this year and am still trying to concentrate my efforts on bait presentation and the effectiveness of my rigs whilst using boilies, in their various guises.
Cheap as chips! Some ancient baits that I purchased from The Range
when I was still happy playing around "scamping" at the local commercials.
There are a couple of things which I employ that might go against normal thinking. Obviously they are based on theories, I've certainly not caught enough carp to base anything on my experiences with the species. It was in July 2015 that I caught my first twenty since February 1984 and the desire was re-ignited. However, it wasn't until my 60th birthday (Dec 2015) that a plan came together - a thirty on a 1959 split cane Richard Walker Mk IV. This has become the focus of my angling since the passing of my father in August 2016 and I think my recent blogging reflects this single-minded ambition.
Danny Fairbrass swears by these - I'll reserve judgement until such time
as that thirty succumbs to my efforts
I have no idea how modern carp baits are produced, but concede that there are some outstanding products available from the various retail outlets. It is my theory that carp will not by-pass a good quality bait to get to another. My current baiting strategy is based upon this and I have a small take away tub full of air dried 15 mm boilies. They are of four different varieties, from two manufacturers (Nash and Camo), and these will act in a similar manner to my particles. With the carp browsing over an area, of silt, picking up a bait here and there, my mixed offerings should not arouse any suspicion of my baited rig! My hook bait is a single pop-up from the Mainline range, of which I have four varieties to choose from. The one thing I'm not doing is attempting to "match the hatch" Because I'm fishing over silt, the pop-up rig is preferable as it allows me to present the bait as obvious as possible. Carp should discover my bait easily and, because they are already feeding, make that mistake which results in a visit to my landing net?

A wild "Common" from a very unfashionable venue - it's fish like this that drive me on.
I probably have too much time on my hands and am making things far more complex than they need be? I'll happily await my moment, confident that it will happen given the momentum in my confidence. I've now had six twenties (five on the split canes) since 2015 and look forward to many more as I continue to chase my dream.


  1. Dyl, my feeling here, wouldn't be to make the hookbait as obvious as possible within the baited area. Walker himself mentioned something about conditioned feeders, so on one level, the carp are conditioned to feeding in a particular way, so may well bypass something different since it's on a different wavelength.
    On another level, a carp which gets caught under the circumstances of eating anything out of the ordinary, may well associated anything different to the rest with suspicion.
    My way would be to lay down a massive carpet of particles in one area, and then cast an identical particle away from that area.
    If the carp are used to feeding on the particles, they would come across the item when moving in and out of the area. They'll assume it's just a bit they had missed earlier on, and pick it up without suspicion.

    1. With the greatest respect to the thoughts of Dick Walker, what he understood about carp feeding behaviour was minimal - although cutting edge in the 1950's! Today's carp anglers are using baits that even Fred Wilton hadn't contemplated and he was a visionary during that formative period of the 1970's early 80's. The use of modern underwater camera technology, combined with modern bait and tackle performance, continue to push the boundaries of our understanding. All that said, carp can still be caught using a floating crust or maggots, so there's hope for us old'ns yet!
      Your idea of massed particle introduction is very similar to that which I used on the East Kent marshland drains. My mixed particles were spread over quite a big area with my hook baits (curried chick peas) only introduced into the swim of choice, very sparingly. These wild fish responded very quickly to my tactics and I have taken carp from three different drains using this approach. Because I have no idea how many fish are present, it's impossible for me to say if I am successful, or not? - Dyl

  2. Dyl, I thinking more along the lines of fish in general. The way that fish could get stuck in a rut of eating maggots one by one. Present them with a bunch on a size 12 and it wouldn't register.
    Didn't Frank Guttfield suggest the revolution in baits forty year ago?